periodic apnea of the newborn

in a premature baby, the part of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) that controls breathing is not yet mature enough for nonstop breathing. doctors usually diagnose the condition before the mother and baby are discharged from the hospital, and the apneausually goes away on its own as the infant matures. these breathing abnormalities may begin after 2 days of life and last for up to 2 to 3 months after the birth. although it’s normal for all infants to have pauses in breathing and heart rates, those with aop have drops in heart rate below 80 beats per minute. a baby who has periodic breathing starts regular breathing again on his or her own. most premature infants (especially those less than 34 weeks’ gestation at birth) will get medical care for apnea of prematurity in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit (nicu). many babies with aop are given oral or intravenous (iv) caffeine medicine to stimulate their breathing.




most of the time, babies will begin breathing again on their own with this kind of stimulation. usually only a few breaths are needed before the baby begins to breathe again on his or her own. before your baby leaves the hospital, the nicu staff will review the monitor with you and give you detailed instructions on how and when to use it, and how to respond to an alarm. your doctor will let you know how long your baby wears the monitor, so be sure to ask if you have any questions or concerns. aside from aop, other complications with your premature baby may limit the time and interaction that you can have with your little one. the nicu staff is not only trained to care for premature babies, but also to reassure and support their parents. if you’re feeling this way, the nicu staff can reassure you and perhaps put you in touch with other parents of preemies who went through the same thing. nemours® and kidshealth® are registered trademarks of the nemours foundation.

apnea (ap-nee-ah) is a pause in breathing that lasts 20 seconds or longer for full-term infants. if a pause in breathing lasts less than 20 seconds and makes your baby’s heart beat more slowly (bradycardia) or if he turns pale or bluish (cyanotic), it can also be called apnea. some people make the mistake of confusing the terms “apnea” and “sids” (sudden infant death syndrome or “crib death”). we may, however, be able to find out why a baby has apnea and recommend treatment for the child. in some cases, we cannot find a reason for the apnea. during sleep, when the brain is less active, breathing becomes slower and shallower. sometimes apnea occurs because areas in the brain that control breathing do not respond as they should, but most babies improve over time. tests might be done to find the cause for your baby’s apnea episodes. we need to know what happens before, during and after the periods of apnea.

we need to find out what causes the apnea so we can give your infant proper care. we can: in very rare instances it may be necessary to place your baby on an apnea monitor to detect pauses in breathing. although the monitor is placed to detect both apnea and bradycardia, it does not cure apnea and may not prevent sids or death. if your baby was placed on a monitor, it will be kept on the baby until the risk of apnea seems to be gone. your nurses and doctor will discuss this with you at each clinic visit and help you to make the best decisions for you and your baby. the monitor placed on your baby is especially made to alert you to any possible periods of apnea or bradycardia. you can: we know this is a difficult time for you and your family. together, we can help your baby grow and develop as a normal, healthy child. no one should be allowed to smoke in the home or car.

aop is different from periodic breathing, which is also common in premature newborns. periodic breathing is a pause in breathing that lasts just a few seconds infant apnea is defined by the american academy of pediatrics as “an unexplained episode of cessation of breathing for 20 seconds or longer, apnea (ap-nee-ah) is a pause in breathing that lasts 20 seconds or longer for full-term infants. if a pause in breathing lasts less than 20 seconds and, is apnea normal in newborns, is apnea normal in newborns, types of apnea in newborn, apnea of prematurity, apnea in newborns treatment.

brief periods of apnea that occur in short cycles of 5 to 10 seconds is not pathologic and is referred to as periodic breathing. periodic breathing is seen predominantly during the age of two to four weeks and resolves by age six months. apnea is frequently seen in preterm infants but can occur at any age. neonate: a newborn, up to 28 days of age (post-term) periodic breathing: three or more periods with no respiratory effort lasting 3 seconds or more in a 20 acute – when the alarm sounds, the infant should immediately be observed for signs of breathing and skin color. if apneic, pale, cyanotic or bradycardic, then apnea of prematurity is most widely defined as cessation of breathing for more than 20 seconds, or a shorter respiratory pause associated with, apnea in newborns symptoms, periodic breathing newborn.

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